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Crimson Moonlight - The Covenant Progress

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Can you say album of the year?  Well, after hearing The Covenant Progress you may have no problems uttering that phrase, even though we have yet to hit the halfway point of 2003.  Crimson Moonlight has blown me away with this album!  This is nothing short of incredible!  After hearing their Eternal Emperor EP and a few songs on compilations, I knew this band had potential, but this disc seriously will compete with any extreme metal band out there Christian or secular.  I know there will be doubters that think I'm exaggerating, but this couldn't be closer to the truth.  Gone is the keyboard fluff that the band was known for.  There is still a layer of keys, but it is shoved way to the back and the guitars are now the focal point of the music.  This is raw, dark, and aggressive black metal that will leave you bloodied and battered...and that's just after the first song!  This disc has all the extremeness of black metal with the brutality of death metal.  In fact, brutal seems like too weak of a word to describe the music within.  Vocally, the band is nothing short of breathtaking.  Horrifying and sickening shrill blackness that's spewed forth with raging intensity.  Dare I say, the vocals are not just extreme, they are evil sounding.   Nice!  

 

"Mist of the Spiritual Dimension" opens the album with blasting, shrieking, and growling that yields a song that is unrelenting from start to finish.  Couldn't think of a better way to open this album.  The guitars are played at a lightening fast pace and the drumming is as powerful as heck.  "The Pilgrimage" follows with a cool acoustic intro before bashing your skull with another monster tune.  The song "Path of Pain" is one of the most utterly brutal songs I've heard in a long time.  The guys in the band have got to be exhausted after playing these tunes live.  This is definitely not something for the timid.  In fact, the timid may just want to skip to the last track "The Covenant", which is a calm and haunting instrumental that would've fit well on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack.  Other than that, this is a blistering attack that leaves no survivors.  Other key tracks are "Thy Wilderness", "A Painting in Dark", and...heck, all of them rule!  The aggression here reminds me greatly of Emperor and some early Sanctifica, but by no means is this band a clone.

 

Lyrically, the band put extreme effort into this release and the production is equally as good.  The artwork is very high quality with an excellent cover and some of the best band pictures you'll find.  No dorky or cheesy pics to be found here. 

 

If you are an extreme metal fan and didn't like their last disc, give this band another try cause you'd be crazy not to love this!  This album is absolutely killer!  This is not hype.  This is fact.  If you buy just one album this year, your money belongs to Crimson Moonlight.  (Review by Matt) 

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